The oil in your engine works a lot harder than you think. If you think about it there are hundreds of moving components, with thousands of explosions happening at the same time in your engine, so it stands to reason that Tulsa drivers should have their oil changed regularly!

You’re probably familiar with the guideline: Change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. However extended oil change intervals have been introduced by some vehicle manufacturers, because they think that present-day vehicles driven under ideal driving conditions are able to get closer to 5,000 miles or more between oil changes.

The crucial expression here is “under ideal driving conditions”. If you check out your owners guide, you’ll find two maintenance schedules: one for “typical” driving conditions and the other for “Severe Service” driving conditions, which consists of stop and go, brief trips, transporting loads, as well as hot and cold driving. That’s why we refer you to the severe service schedule, because for most of us this is how we drive our vehicles on a daily basis.

Some of the leading auto makers have started lengthening engine warranties for engine damage caused by oil sludge resulting from longer oil change periods. They discovered that real-world conditions need more frequent oil changes than the 7,500 mile period they had been advising drivers. They consequently advised more frequent oil change periods, as well as evidence of timely oil changes to be entitled to their extended warranty.

Oil sludge blocks engine passages, and stops oil from doing its primary job: lubricating critical engine components. As a result these components wear a lot more rapidly and your engine could fail prematurely.

Sludge is caused by a number of things:

  1. Time. Over time the oil is polluted by exhaust gas that inevitably results in sludge. That is where the recommendation to replace your oil every three months originates from.
  2. Sludge can also originate from oil polluted by water through ordinary condensation. A few minutes of highway speed driving lets the oil to warm up sufficiently for the water to evaporate. The problem is our trips are often too short to enable the engine to warm sufficiently for the water to evaporate. This is particularly true during winter.
  3. Sludge also develops when the engine get too warm, resulting in the oil breaking down. Stop and go driving in the summer, and transporting loads are all ideal conditions for producing sludge.

With these factors, it’s easy to see how estimating when have schedule your oil change is fairly complicated. Some vehicles now have programs in that record the amount of cold starts, the number of times the cylinders fire, engine temperature and other factors. With all the data it’s able to estimate when you should change your oil, and notifies the driver. If you don’t have this nifty feature in your vehicle, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Rather come in or contact us at RC Auto Specialists to see if the 3,000 miles or three month period is a good recommendation for you based on your driving style.

Here at RC Auto Specialists we also make it easy to schedule your next oil change, just go to our Schedule Appointment page to do so!